The Italian game magazine had an expansion preview and this is what was written:
New territory: Outland.
New instance: Karazhan, a 5-man instance in Deadwind Pass.
Level cap raised to lvl 70, just as written on the cover.
New profession: Jewelcrafting, gives ability to craft gems, to be used on armor and weapons, similar to enchanting.
Two new races:
Blood Elves for the Horde (yes, I'm sorry, the screens are true). Alliance race still unknown.
Rain and snow added to the world.
The Expansion Set is scheduled to be released due May 2006.
I have more info!!! It's quite trustable.
Blood Elves will have a new starting zone north of Eastern Plaguelands and a new dungeon will be included.
The racial trait of the Blood Elves will be a "Mana Tap" to slowly leech the mana of the target (it will be applicable more than once like the Sunder Armor) and that will then directly load the second trait: "Arcane Torment (or Torrent)" which will work like an area silence.
Battlegrounds shared between servers.
No hero classes.
Alliance arce will NOT be showcased at BlizzCon.
Outland will come, Illidan as well.
Even more news
The Blood Elves will be Mages, Warlocks and Warriors but it's undecided if either hunters or rogues.
Their starting zone will be Quel'Thalas (what is left), north of the Eastern Plaguelands and with a three-zones valley inbetween (Eversong Woods with the capital Silvermoon, Ghostland and a troll themed zone called Zul'Aman).
About the live content, the opening of Silithus will be introduced by a live event that will require the collaboration of everyone and that will only happen once for each server. Behind the gates there will be a open zone tailored for 20 players (defined by Blizzard "casual hardcore" with a temple at the center with an instance that will be the biggest to date (two-three times Molten Core). The players will also get access to special mounts (insects) that will be only usable in the dungeon.
The Outlands will be divided into differently themed regions (like the rock valleys of the Hellfire Peninsula and the luxuriant forests of Zanga Marsh, part of what is left of Dreanor). While within Shadowmoon Valley there will be the Black Temple with the Illidian as boss.
The flying mount will be for level 70 players and after an epic quest chain. But only usable in the Outlands (floating isles).
No new engine changes or features. The Blood Elves models seem to use 20% more polygons. Blizzard is also experimenting with Specular Environmental Mapping.
The atmospherical effects should arrive soon as a live patch.
Also, by the time the expansion is out, the Battlegrounds should be finally linked between the servers to kill the queues.
Translation of the Italian Preview, from WorldofWar.se
After one year of the exit on US market, many world of warcraft players ask informations on the first, inevitable, expansion. For answer to these questions, the Californian software house is preparing an event for his fan the 28th and 29th of October "Blizzcon", where Blizzard will reveal the details on the World of Warcraft's future. For this date, the TGM readers, already know...
Kindly invited by Vivendi to visit Blizzard offices, we have the chance to have a preview about the details of "The Burning Crusade" the first World of Warcraft expansion that will create a revolution on some aspect of this bestseller game.
First of all the Background: Sargeras, the corrupted titan that represent the worst in the WoW universe, it's always intented to destroy all the universe, has begin his work, his troups have never encountered any obstacle and have not stopped excepted for the resistance on Azeroth (that is both the region, the continent, the planet). But his actual plan for now is ignoring this place, for concentrating on the Outland. This is the name given at the point where are found the rest of the planet Draenor, the original planet of the orcs, rests that flown on the emptiness and grant the access to the Twisting Nether, a sort of parallel dimension that allow to reach every planes of esistance in the universe. It's unuseful to say that a resource like this, a "node" like for invading all the worlds it's extremely appetible for Sargera's demoniac forces, and here we'll be called the Azeroth forces, the only one that has shown the ability to combat the titan and his followers, Archimonde and Kil'Jaeden.
All the expansion will be centrated on the Outland, Medivh and the Dark Portal, to make procede on the most important story of the world of warcraft. At least other than Outlands two new dungeons will be introduced on Azeroth(the planet), scrictly tied to characthers and events encountered in the expansion. The first will be presented in details at Blizzcon (it will be possible to play with it) and it will probably be a 5 character instance - but it's still on decision - situated in Kharazan, the Medivh's tower that's found in the Deadwind Pass (between Duskwood and the Swamp of Sorrows). From the descriptions received and the short tour that we have osserved we know that it will quikly evolve from the "classic undead istance" to something stranger, where the numerous results of Medivh's magic experiments can be encountered.
Much more unusual will be the Caverns of Time, raid instance in Tanaris that will allow to travel in the time and participate to the most important events of the story of Azeroth, from the opening of the Dark Portal by Medivh, the liberation from slavery of Thrall and the mythologic battle of Mount Hyal (seen in Warcraft III) when the forces of humans, orcs and elves battle united to defeat Archimonde. All this is possible because the Caverns of Time is the place where bronze dragons, headed by Nordozmu, control the streaming of the time.
Tecnically the dungeon can in the future be expanded to allow the visit of other importans moment of WoW story.
These are the news that can be expected: the surprise begin with the max level that will be increased to lvl 70. (Here is a little comment redactional about the exp lost at lvl 60 for quest done and experience not earned).
Altough Hero Class are not be announced (in the words of Rob Pardo, Vice President of Game Design: "If we make any mistake with the hero classes, we can definitely ruin the game"), Blizzard has not denied that they could be included in the expansion but they have not made any promises. Other games like Everquest with Alternate Advancement Point and Daoc with Master Level has shown how this players evolution can be very complicated.
The second great news is that both of the factions will have a new race (no new class). Because one of the reason alliance have more player than horde seem to be tied to an easthetical reason (horde races are "ugly"): orcs, trolls, taurens and forsakens will be joined by the Blood Elves.
They are bit smaller than their cousins, are dedicated to magic in the darker forms and dependent on it. The blood elves could sure be mages, warlock and warriors, but it's not certain that will be able to be rogues or hunters. At the moment they have a racial trait called Mana tap that slowly leak mana from an enemy, and can be applied several times like sunder armor. This will charge a second ability called "Arcane Torrent" (but the head of development Kaplan continued to call it "Arcane Torment) that works like a "silence" spell with an area of effect. This has left us a little surprised because it seems a bit unbalanced against a warrior. But is to early to speak about it, because the launch will be next year and is still far away. Many things will be surely changed.
Very interesting is the characterization given to this race. With a starting area very light and sunny, but also frightful with many signs of magic used for frivolous scopes (deforming plants, palace floating in the air) and strange crystals containing demons imprisoned to take advantage of their energies. The actual "home" of Blood Elves is what remains of Quel'Thalas. It is found north of the Eastern Plaguelands, through a valley currently sealed from a stack of logs. It will be composed of 3 zones: Eversong Woods with the capital city Silvermoon, Ghostland and Zul'Aman, a region inhabited by trolls that could host or become a new thematic dungeon like Zul'Farrak and Zul'Gurub. The new race of the alliance has not be announced and will probably announced a short time after BlizzCon. But we can make always hypothesise: thinking the "beautiful race" is going to the horde, and this leads us to think about pandarean, introduced originally like an "april fools" joke and then incorporated truly in Warcraft III (this can be more than guess, but it is better stop here..).
There are more news: there will be a news profession using Jewelcrafting, we don't know if with this "work" it will possible to forge ring, amulets or trinket, but for sure it will be possible to craft gems to inseter in "socket" found in the armor and weapons, like in Diablo2. To support this blacksmither, tailor and leatherworker can craft item with socket for host gems for jewelcrafting.
Here Tosoc, a TGM redactor, still complain about the fact that it is still impossibe to craft staffs. However, it is still possible that jewelcrafting is not the only profession added in the expansion and things can still change before the launch of the expansion.
Continuing with the news about Outlands, it will be divided in many regions. From rock and devasted Hellfire Peninsula to the forest of Zenga Marsh, one of the few zones of Draenor that survived destruction. The most interesting news for the "lore maniac" is that in one of this regions, the Shadowmoon Valley, you can find the Black Temple where Illidan resides. True "boss" of the entire Outland zone.
Thinking about the fact that only Arthas was able to stop the ex demon hunter (seen in Warcraft III and expansion), even lvl 70 players will have something hard to face. Players can count on many new resources, included the desired flying mounts: responding to the thousand of player requests, Blizzard has decided that once a player reach lvl can put their hands on a flying mount that can be only used only in the Outland, using the "floating island" founded in the region. The mout will be gained at the end of a long and hard quest.
There are no news about the game engine. But it seems blood elves model will have about 20% more of polygons compared to the "old" race models. The graphic should, in the following month, do a little restyle with the introduction of the weather effects but the rest should remain the same. They are also experimenting with various tricks (like Specular Environment Mapping) to improve looks in general. They are concentrating more on the content as the graphic engine can always be changed later on. From the tecnichal point of view, it can be expected that the expansion will bring the possibility to play BattleGrounds "from server", which means players from all realms can participate. This is a thing that theorically will bring an end of the queues.
Wait for more information in the next months, especially considering the discovery of the new race joining the alliance (we have told you our idea).
This seems to be legitment, at least for Blood Elves as we have been required to pull all related images which were submitted to the site.
Blizzard announced on the official forums recently that a new starting area will be showcased at Blizzcon, which may also mean that they'll give much more information as well as possibly a demo of what's to come in the expansion.
The new starting area may not specifically be the new races starting area, but speculation points to the Blood Elves starting location. We may not know anything else until Blizzcon arrives.
It is rumored that the dark portal will open in the expansion. Thus giving way to the new races starting locations, as well as new zones and instances. This would most likely be done from a World Event right before the release of the expansion in which players would participate in events in-game to help open the Dark Portal.
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supposed patch dont know if its true but eh Blizzcon is right around the corner ... lets see what they got to say about this ... cant wait for them to fix rogues stealth haha ... anyways theres a bunch of Blood elf pics on my guild site so it seems something about the blood elves will be in the game